Thursday, March 30, 2006

Home Field Advantage in Sports

After watching Australia dominate the 2006 Commonwealth Games I was interested in the effect of Home Field Advantage in sports.

I know their is a significant advantage playing at home but was debating with my gang to see which sport has the biggest advantage.

There are several issues that away teams have to deal with that home teams don't.
  1. Away teams must often travel great distances, and this throws out the body clock.
  2. Players must deal with new cultures and foods, and may also suffer from not having their loved ones around to provide support.
  3. Players often face extremely hostile crowds.
  4. Playing in a venue which they are not familiar with.

I personally feel that hostile crowds is the biggest factor in Home Field Advantage.

From the internet I found the following winning percentages for Home teams.

Sport Percentage
American Football
Ice Hockey

There are different stats from different sources where some stats say there is a positive home field advantage for NHL which makes sense to me.

I always thought Soccer has the biggest advantage and one study says one in three goals occur because of home field advantage. I am supprised that American Football percentage wouldnt be higher.

I couldn't find any stats on Rugby but from my experience in terms of Finals the home teams usually wins. In Australian rules and cricket you have the added advantage in that the ground are not standard sizes so familiarity with the shape and size of the ground is a bonus.

I have been to some local rugby games where the crowd is only a few yards to the sideline and when you have had previous examples of crowds coming in to attack players it creates an added advantage.

For me the best sport with the homeground advantage would be the pool table in the local pub as you know all the rolls. Pool is a sport right!!


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